A project which helps refugees and asylum seekers has been boosted by a lottery grant of almost £100,000.

The British Red Cross Society has run the project out of the Carlisle Business Centre in Bradford since March 2004.

Two members of staff - Katie Tetley and Jawad Hassan Zadec - work helping refugees and asylum seekers come to terms with living in a foreign country and also help them to trace any missing relatives.

In total a grant of £99,658 has been given to the project which secures the work of Katie in her job as a tracing and messaging co-ordinator for West Yorkshire and Jawad in his job as a refugee support service co-ordinator for the next three years.

Katie said: "We aim to reunite families who have been separated by conflict and natural disasters. It may be someone who has been forced to flee a country and may have left a husband behind or children.

"So we go through an interview process to find out relevant details about their circumstances which led to the separation. We then send the tracing form to the global network system which tries to track down the missing person."

The service can be invaluable for reuniting families who have been forced apart and offers some hope of bringing families back together.

The charity also works to help refugees and asylum seekers who have recently come to the country and may need help accessing services or with general day-to-day life.

Jawad said the service had between 70 and 80 calls a month from people of different nationalities.

He said: "My job is to support refugees and asylum seekers in Bradford from signposting services to showing them where places of worship are. Generally I work to help people in whatever ways they need it."

The money has come from the Big Lottery Fund through the Reaching Communities programme which offers people better chances in life, builds strong communities, improves urban and rural environment and promotes healthy activities.

The Big Lottery Fund's head of Yorkshire and Humber Vanessa White said: "It's fantastic that our funding will provide more support for families in the region. The Reaching Communities programme is giving families that are the foundation of many neighbourhoods, towns and villages across Yorkshire and Humber a better future."

This is one of six projects in Yorkshire and Humber sharing £1.4 million.

e-mail: sunita.bhatti@bradford.newsquest.co.uk